Debt Ceiling, Meet Domestic Forever Wars

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Joe Biden proclaimed to the nation that “I was not going to extend this forever war,” referring to the tw0-decade campaign in Afghanistan. To some, the episode brought less apparent benefit to the nation as opposed to the defense, consulting and speaking-circuit class. The opposing army is now implausibly regarded as partners in the evacuation of Americans. Yet even now it may not be prudent to believe the overseas adventures have actually ended given sticky presidential authorizations to use force.

But futile trillion-dollar military and nation-building campaigns, and even the old-school “Wars” on Drugs and Crime, just scratch the surface. The real “Forever War” story is the bouquet of domestic ones that Biden and congressional allies are waging in 2021 that will mean unprecedented spending on and regulation of American’s daily lives, in perpetuity.

Biden’s American Rescue Plan already passed in March. If fulfilled during September’s hectic legislative calendar, a trillion-dollar bipartisan infrastructure package, plus some iteration of Biden’s American Jobs PlanAmerican Families Plan and “build back better” $3.5 trillion amalgamation will represent the fulfillment of a grand domestic “Forever War” declaration, an achievement that its proponents chillingly call a “generational transformation.” This fusion of long-sought progressive pet programs will sideline the remnants of limited government and engage autopilot on spending and regulation in pursuit of big infrastructure, big mass transit, big climate, big renewable energy, big “homeland security,” big cybersecurity, big health care, and most prominently, big-time healthy-adult dependency on government not just during crisis but boom times.

Domestic Forever Wars can perhaps best be defined as spending and creation of federal power centers where there’s no intention to actually solve a crisis or a problem, but to enrich the bureaucratic and contractor class and create vast amounts of make-work. Victory will never be declared. The most prominent motivator today is the establishment of able-bodied adult dependency on government and all the spending, social regulation and surveillance that the endless pursuit of an unattainable “equity” this and related pursuits will entail.

Indeed the Biden legislative “triad” and sloganeering seem to epitomize the pursuit of a custodial administrative state and social regulatory interventions. These are reinforced in executive orders such as those on minimum wage increases for contractors; nondiscrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation (including the creation of a White House Gender Policy Council); racial equity and support for underserved communities; diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the federal workforce; and refugee resettlement and “Planning for the Impact of Climate Change on Migration.”

Read the full article at Forbes.